Yuzu olive oil cake with glaze seen from the top, on a black baking tray

Food & Tea Pairing, Part 2: Yuzu Olive Oil Cake

Today’s recipe is (my) Japanese take on the orange olive oil cake. Instead of using orange, I used Yuzu, a popular fruit and flavour in Japan. Although fresh yuzu is hard to find, yuzu preserves can be easily found in asian supermarkets. (I actually saw a huge jar of yuzu preserves at Costco, just yesterday!)

Batch #1. The cake by itself wasn’t very citrus-forward, so I added a glaze on top.

Yuzu olive oil cake with glaze seen from the top, on a black baking tray
Batch #2: Topped with glaze with big yuzu chunks. This one was Sara’s favourite.

Pairing Suggestions

For the yuzu cake and the one after this (TBA), we had a group tasting session. (You’ll notice that the jelly from the first post was not a part of the tasting, because the recipe was still being tested.) We gathered in the tea room, and we lined up all the pitchers and kyusus. We tried 10 Obubu teas in total: Tencha, Mejiro, Sencha of the Earth, Sencha of the Gushing Brook, Sencha of the Wind, Kyobancha, Houjicha Gold, Tsugumi, Pine Needle Oolong, and Pine Needle Wakoucha.

Closeup of the many kyusu in use at the tea tasting
So. Much. Tea.

All of us, with cups and forks in our hands, went wild with tasting. This was the best part of this project. We sipped some tea, then ate a bite of the cake, and repeated this until we found the perfect pairing. It was so much fun. A big shoutout to my kouhais, who all loved tea so much! The tasting session would not have been the same without you guys!

Obubu interns and assistant managers sat around a long black table with Yena's cakes, 10 kyusu, 10 pitchers, and lots of teacups
All of us, hard at work. Justin, especially. Life is hard at Obubu. 🙈

At the end of the tasting session, everyone sent me their top 3 pairings for each cake. For the yuzu olive oil cake, the top 3 pairing suggestions are Kyobancha, Houjicha Gold, and Sencha of the Gushing Brook. Kyobancha was by far the most popular choice, with 7 votes. The sweet roasted flavour of Kyobancha balances well with the citrus flavour of the cake.

A slice of yuzu olive oil cake with no glaze
Batch #3: I made a soak instead of a glaze for this batch. Just replace the powdered sugar with granulated sugar, and combine in a saucepan over low heat.

Yuzu Olive Oil Cake

Adding some yuzu or lemon zest really enhances the citrus flavour of the cake, but it’s totally optional, and the cake is still very delicious without it.

Cake Ingredients

1 ¼ cups olive oil

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g yuzu preserve

zest from one yuzu or lemon **optional

10 g water (or lemon juice)

¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar

2 cups (250g) flour

5g baking powder

1 tsp salt

Glaze Ingredients

50g powdered sugar

2 tbsp yuzu preserve

2 tsp lemon juice


  1. Oil and line a 9-inch cake pan.
  2. Preheat oven to 180℃/350℉.
  3. Combine olive oil, eggs, vanilla extract, yuzu preserve, and water in a large bowl.
  4. Add sugar and mix to combine.
  5. Add all the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Do not overmix.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes, check the cake for doneness at 45 minutes.
  7. Cool in pan for 20 mins, then remove from pan to cool completely.
  8. Place all glaze ingredients in a pan and mix well. Pour over the cake.
  9. Enjoy with some Obubu tea!
Posted in Interns, Tea Recipes.

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